TACLOBAN CITY — The Association of Structural Engineers of the Philippines (ASEP) has been raising the capability of civil engineers to compose the post-earthquake response team and assess damaged buildings.
Training of civil engineers is badly needed since the country is highly vulnerable to destructive earthquakes, said Ferdinand Briones, ASEP regional coordinator for Eastern Visayas (Region 8).
“This is our advocacy to make structures and communities resilient to various hazards. Among our key activities are vulnerability and risk assessment of structures, and capacity building and training,” said Briones, who also heads the Department of Public Works and Highways Northern Samar 2nd district engineering office.
Hundreds of civil engineers, both from private and government sectors of different parts of the region, on Thursday gathered in this city for a two-day training on the group’s disaster mitigation, preparedness and response program.
ASEP has been deploying its volunteers after destructive earthquakes to check buildings, certify if the structure is safe or not, and submit recommendations to local government units.
In 2017, ASEP-Eastern Visayas dispatched responders after the magnitude 6.7 Surigao earthquake on Feb. 10, 2017 that killed eight people and the magnitude 6.5 earthquake in Leyte that killed four people.
“Since we need more volunteers, we have been conducting training in different provinces. These teams of experts can be deployed anywhere in the country where their services are needed after a disaster,” said ASEP national director Cesar Pabalan said.
ASEP is the recognized organization of Structural Engineers of the Philippines. Established in 1961, ASEP has been in existence for more than five decades. The group is known for its publications, such as the different volumes of the National Structural Code of the Philippines and the approved referral codes of the Philippine National Building Code. (SARWELL Q.MENIANO/PNA)